Normally I’d have a review of a book or tool or something, but since the USDA came out with a new hardiness map recently I thought I’d talk about it briefly.
The interactive tool is pretty awesome. You can put in your zip code and then find your exact location. A simple click will tell you exactly what your zone and temperature range is. No guessing based on a low resolution map that’s hard to read…
The biggest change is that they’ve added two new zones at the warm end of the scale, zones 12 and 13.
We can argue about the ramifications of this map until we’re blue in the face, but the bottom line is that most areas went up a zone or two, and this means you can grow things you couldn’t before. Not a bad thing.
On the flip side, it means new pests and whatnot that will affect what we grow more and more.
We went to an 8a where we live, and our property jumped up to a 6a. Definitely a change I’m going to have to think about.
For me, the most interesting part is the property. I can now look at longer term perennials and trees or shrubs that wouldn’t really thrive in a zone 5 but can do fine in a 6.
What are your thoughts on the new map?